Barbara Bush, the beloved Bush family matriarch and former First Lady who has died at the age of 92, was a wealthy woman. She left behind a lot more than money, of course: She left behind a legacy of family, literacy, and her sharp wit.
Her husband’s office released this statement on April 17, 2018, confirming that Barbara Pierce Bush had died. She was in failing health in the days before her death and had refused medical treatment, in favor of being home with her family.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Both Barbara and George H.W. Bush Have a Net Worth of $25 Million
Both of the Bushes are wealthy people. How rich are they? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barbara Bush was worth $25 million.
“Barbara Bush was an American philanthropist and former First Lady of the United States who had a net worth of $25 million at the time of her death in 2018,” the site reports. The site reports that her husband is also worth $25 million. However, it’s likely those figures apply to the couple as a pair, not individually. They were married 73 years, so their assets are obviously intermingled.
The couple’s son George W. Bush, the former president, has a net worth of $40 million, making him wealthier than his parents. Their son, Jeb, the former governor of Florida, is also worth $40 million.
2. Barbara’s Father-in-Law Was Also a Wealthy Man & Barbara Comes From a Family With Some Means
The Bush family fortune goes far back. George H.W.’s father was also a rich man. “George Bush’s father, Prescott Bush Sr., was a successful Wall Street investment banker and later a senator from Connecticut who left an estate of nearly $3.5 million when he died in 1972,” the New York Times reported.
However, George H.W. Bush largely made his own fortune, opting not to ask his family for “seed money,” Town and Country Magazine reports.
Barbara Bush is a distant relative to another president, and her mother’s family had some involvement in politics, although her father worked for a magazine company.
“Barbara Bush was born Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925, in New York City. Her mother, Pauline Pierce, was the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice and dedicated to conservation efforts as a chairwoman of the Garden Club of America,” Biography.com reports.
3. Barbara Bush Was a Published Author Who Gained Fans for Writing About Her Dog, Millie
Some of Barbara’s wealth she earned in her own right: She was the author of several books about her dog, Millie, which were designed to help champion the cause of literacy, which, other than her family, was her life’s work. However, she used that money for charity.
“Barbara Bush’s signature cause is family literacy, a passion that began during the 1980s when statistics showed that 35 million U.S. adults could not read above the eighth-grade level,” according to her presidential library biography.
“During her husband’s vice-presidential years, she unveiled billboards, visited Head Start and Even Start classes, supported alternative school programs for at-risk students like Cities in Schools, and participated in a variety of media programs to raise awareness of the basic need for every citizen to be able to read. In 1984, Mrs. Bush also published C. Fred’s Story: A Dog’s Life, which raised $100,000 for Literacy Volunteers of America and Laubach Literacy Action,” the biography notes.
As First Lady, she continued championing this case, creating Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, “focusing simultaneously on early childhood education for preschoolers and adult literacy for their parents,” the bio reads, adding that Barbara Bush, in 1990, published a second book called Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush.
4. George H.W. Bush Made a Fortune in the Oil Industry
Obviously, becoming a president of the United States leads one to great wealth in the form of speeches and the like. However, the Bushes were already millionaires as a result of his work in the oil industry.
“It was not until 1966, when he sold his interest in an oil-drilling business before running for Congress, that he was considered wealthy,” reported Town and Country Magazine.
By 1988, The New York Times “estimated his net worth as $2 million, and the newspaper attributed the majority of the increase in his assets to ‘buying and selling houses when he and his family moved,'” the site says.
5. The Couple Owned Homes in Houston & Kennebunkport, Maine
The Bushes loved to retreat to their family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. In 1991, the property was already worth more than $2 million, according to Desert News.
“Walkers Point, the Bush family compound, is on 11 acres jutting out into the sea. Built almost 90 years ago by his grandfather, George Herbert Walker, the property was purchased by Bush in 1981,” the newspaper reported.
The couple also owned a home in Houston, Texas, which is where Barbara Bush died, surrounded by her family.